Our Go FundMe Update
I am in need of a miracle to keep my store open and I believe that all of you can be a part of it.
We are just three short weeks away from entering the fall increase of business that leads to the wonderful busiest time of year to provide for my children's next year of life. BUT AUGUST IS THE SLOWEST MONTH OF THE YEAR BUSINESS WISE. People are busy finishing their vacations and getting their kids ready for school to start. Not much shipping or printing takes place until after labor day. (As I said in earlier posts, usually the money made in May gets us through June, July and August, but I instead had to use that money to get caught up on bills that Jason hadn't paid back in March and April just so we could stay open.)
We need $5, 000 by the end of this week and $15, 000 by the end of the month in order to keep the lights on and the doors open at the store.
I know that this can be done because the God that I believe in is the God of big and small miracles.
Yes, I have applied to banks, but my now ex-husband destroyed my once perfect credit rating. I can not get a loan the traditional way for either the business or as a personal loan. All the credit cards are completely maxed out.
I have started calling local business men to see if anyone is willing to give me a personal loan, but they have all said the same thing, "It's August and business is slow." They have all promised to pray that someone else (or numerous people) will step up and be willing to help out. I did apply and got a approved by one of those "quick loan places", but that loan was INSANE. They were going to take $342 out of the bank EVERYDAY to pay back the $20, 000. I would have ended up paying them $32, 000 so I walked away from that loan. The idea is to keep us open-not to go further into crazy debt to do so. If I had that kind of money then I wouldn't have needed the loan in the first place.
I have "doubled down".....I emptied my personal checking account into the store this week in order to cover our franchise loan payment. I don't have any money left to put into the store.
Yes, I have asked family for help. I bought groceries this week because my dad sent money. I haven't taken money from either my dad or my mom since I was 19 years old. I cried in front of my employees when my daddy called to say money was on its way.
Yes, I have sold everything of value that I can quickly sell. That is why the store was able to stay open as long as it has. I am listing more personal and business stuff for sale, but none of that will probably sell before Friday.
Yes, I have minimized payroll as much as I can. Yes, I am working. I work 10-14 hours per day basically six days a week, because I always stop in on Tuesdays (which was suppose to be my second day off each week until school starts besides Sundays.) Several times the UPS driver is there at 6pm chiding me for being at work on my day off. Many of you business owners know how you "stop in to deal with one thing and you are still there four hours later." Two different customers can testify that I came in twice on a Sunday to help them with their orders.
No, it doesn't make sense to sell my new car. That dealership was the only one who would give me a loan and took the falling apart Yukon in as part of the trade-in. I did check with a used car place and their loan payment was more than what I have for the new car and I got six "denial" letters from banks from them just trying to get me a loan. That certainly didn't help my credit rating.
Yes, my divorce is final. Paperwork just has to be signed and completed over the next few weeks. The store is all mine, including the debt and financial fines being assessed by Jason's past actions. He signed over all rights to me, but I am responsible to pay off all the vendors and debt. It's a small, yet big price to have to pay in order to provide for my children. Let people know that my ex-husband doesn't have anything to do with our store anymore and that I have five children to provide for and several employees.
Now this miracle I need can take place in several ways. First pray! I am still standing and fighting each day because I am sustained by your prayers. Second, share this post with all your friends. Post it on facebook, help make it go viral. I have been praying since last Wednesday when I realized that certain fines weren't going to be waved. I have "peace from God" that my store will make it once we get to September, but God kept saying, "Ask for help." So I humbled myself and started making phone calls and sending messages to people asking for help. I said something to my dentist on Friday and I hit up my mechanic on Saturday. I talked to several families at church earlier today. I am trying to be that "squeaky wheel" for God, and humble about it.
Third, donate if you can!!! If you don't want to donate to the Go FundMe page, then you can mail money to our store. Checks or gift cards can be made out to "Stephanie Rivers", 117 S. Hollywood Blvd Box 114, Steubenville, OH 43952. Fourth, if you know if any business men or family members willing to give me a loan, then PLEASE, PLEASE send them my way. I am willing to pay them back with interest. If they can't do $5, 000 or the full $15, 000 then whatever small amount they are willing to loan I will pay back with interest!!!
Finally, DO BUSINESS WITH ME THE NEXT THREE WEEKS. If you have something to ship, then come ship with me. If you need copies (color or black and white), or blue prints, or banners, or yard signs or notary stamps made, or pens ordered for your business, then come to my store and keep our doors open. Tell your friends and family to do business with me. Stop driving past me to my competitor. My prices for printing are less anyways and when it comes to color print jobs I also print on better quality paper so your copies look sharper and more professional.
Pray that I can negotiate some more deals for more time. Pray that instead of August being our slowest month of business that it becomes a great month for business.
Pray that someone will step up and give me a loan so that I can sleep at night knowing the store can stay open and my kids will be provided for.
I am still standing here fighting the good fight. I am so close to our miracle being completed that I can taste the victory, but yet I am so close to the crash of defeat. I feel almost like an Olympian....I can see the finish line and the victory is almost there yet the failure of falling short is so very real. I just need my cheer squad (all of you) to help get me across the finish line, to help me get through one more month until the busy time for the store and all the bills can be paid.
The small donations add up as well. I was able to fill my car up with gas because someone handed me $40 at church. Two weeks ago our picnic dinner for parents night at scout camp was paid for by a facebook friend who stopped in the store and handed me a gift card for Riesbecks. All those small "paying it forward" gifts have kept the kids and I going for the last few months.
Please, please help me. I have done so much since my world fell apart on May 1st. For those of you who are still struggling with anger at my husband for what he did then help get "vengeance".....help me keep the store that he was stealing from open. Help me overcome all the obstacles and make our store one of the most successful ones in our region. I am there everyday trying to make that happen. Will you help me?
BE A PART OF OUR MIRACLE!!! GO HERE TO DONATE.
If you are new to my blog then here are the posts
that explain what has happened to my children and I:
Praying that all of you get the miracles you need in life as well!!!!